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Rod Review

A Touch of Class: The Denali Jadewood 843WJ


Date: 3/12/11
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Denali
Reviewer: Wolbugger

Total Score: 8.00 - GREAT

The Denali Jadewood 843WJ is the first Denali rod we have had the opportunity to put to our real world tests. Denali rods have always been kind of mysterious to me, since they are not a brand you see or hear of everyday. With all models of Denali rods sporting different types of wood fore grips, they certainly have a unique and classy look of their own. Their entry level Jadewood series offers both spinning and casting models from 6'6” up to a 7'6” flipping stick. I was excited to be able to fish a rod that was entirely new to me and see how it performed!


Denali Jadewood 843WJ Specifications

Length 7'0”
Line Wt. 12-17lb
Lure Wt. 3/8-1oz
Pieces 1
Guides 8+Tip
Power Rating Medium Heavy
Taper Fast
Rod Weight 4.5 oz
MSRP $99


Impressions: When I first saw and held the rod, there was definitely some intrigue. While the Jadewood rods are Denali's entry level series, they have a very basic, yet clean look to them. The blank is a dark charcoal color, with black wraps and some use of silver trim around the handle, logo, and first guide.


Introducing the Denali Jadewood 843WJ (our test rod had the company's older logo)


The guides are American Tackle Atlas framed ring lock guides with Halide inserts.  They are touted as offering supreme corrosion resistance, while providing the strength needed if you want to fish braided line. The frames are also beveled on the inside which helps “lock” the Halide ceramic insert in place, preventing it from easily popping out.


The guides feature a “quad leg” design for increased strength.


The handle is a split grip design made of EVA foam. It provides both a soft touch, and a sure grip but lacked a real quality feel. The butt section of the handle is just long enough to not feel awkward while casting two handed. A Pacific Bay reel seat with an exposed blank for sensitivity holds the reel securely. Like the grips, it functioned fine but seemed a bit on the cheap side. The most noticeable component of the handle section though, and really the whole rod, is the Jadewood foregrip. It is beautiful and adds a classy look.


The JDM Shimano Scorpion 1000XT looked nice on this stick.


Tip heaviness is something I have become very paranoid about in recent years, with a big part of that being a result of the recent trend towards split grip handles.  Thankfully, this rod feels very light and well balanced with or without a reel attached.  With my 6.7oz Shimano Scorpion 1000XT attached, the balancing point was right at the top of the foregrip. 


The 843WJ will balance great with lightweight reels.

Overall, I was satisfied by the look and feel of the rod at this price point.  With that said, I did notice 2 small cosmetic issues when looking over the rod.  First, was that the label area on the rod looked totally different than what I remember seeing. A quick check on TackleWarehouse.com confirmed my suspicions. In looking online, it seems this was an earlier offering in the Jadewood series, and the logo area has since been changed to look much fresher and more up to date.  Second, I did find a small drop of epoxy on the outside of the insert of the second guide. Not a huge deal, but it's nice to have a rod free of these errors.

Note the epoxy drop on the lower right part of the guide insert.

Field Tests:  Over the span of a few weeks, I fished the Jadewood on a variety of south Florida ponds, lakes, and canals targeting Largemouth Bass.  To gauge the rod's power and capabilities more accurately, a variety of baits were used in conjunction with Sufix monofilament and braided line.

Fishing plastics slowly waiting for a strike....

Casting: Casting lures throughout the rated range of 3/8-1oz was trouble free. This rod would not be my first choice for casting 1oz baits all day, but it can definitely handle the weight.  The sweet spot seemed to be from about 3/8-3/4oz. The blank is a fast action as opposed to extra fast, which makes the rod a bit less crisp, but more versatile.  It loads just a little further down the blank, which makes casting lighter baits slightly easier. The same action also makes it a good choice for spinnerbaits, lipless cranks around grass, and medium sized topwaters since it is not overly stiff. 

A look at the tip top guide.

The nice thing is that it does still retain enough tip stiffness to cast and effectively fish a heavier bottom contact bait.  It truly is a rod that can handle a wide variety of baits properly. The balance of this rod with a reel makes casting even more pleasing. With no tip heavy feeling whatsoever, the rod was really light in hand and effortless to use!

The rod feels like a true medium heavy fast tapered stick.

Next Section: Sensitivity and Power









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